Adventure of a Lifetime

It’s funny how life works, I might actually have said this for many times. It’s just that this life never fails to surprise me (of course with both ups and downs) – although sometimes it is not so unexpected. I thought I’m not gonna be able to implement things that I specifically learned in my master degree – ever. But I actually am, the path is simply just not that instant.

This week I almost finish my Amatil X journey. Almost, because apparently my team was selected to continue to the final round of the program. This, actually, is something I wasn’t really hope for. I’ll tell you why.

The story goes way back to my postgraduate study in 2015. I studied Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship. In the first semester, one of the compulsory subject was High Tech Entrepreneurship. It taught me about how to build a tech startup. I enjoyed the class very much. Not only because the lecturer and the subject itself, but also because I was teamed up with amazing people. For the final project, the class was grouped into teams and we had to create our own startup proposal and to pitch our idea. I was in a team with 4 other students and I think we worked together very well. We won the pitching competition and I was very pleased with how the final proposal looked like.

The rest of the study in my master degree was about innovation and somewhat getting ourselves ready for startup environment. In the second semester, I had to work with one UK-based startup and helped them to understand the market better. That was the moment where I kind of reflecting what I learned in the High Tech Entrepreneurship class. Since then, I had a balanced view of startup environment. It wasn’t all cool.

So I came home to Indonesia, looking for a new job. I applied to several Jakarta-based startups and to other big companies as well. Finally I ended up working in an FMCG company. However, I’m actually curious of whether I can actually work in startup or even build one of my own. But I don’t quite have time to work on my startup idea while working as a full time employee. Slowly, the curiosity faded away. I will work in corporation and I don’t really mind of it.

Not so long ago, I decided that startup might not be for me. I can still implement all those stuffs I have learned back in university to a corporation, and that’s enough. Yet, life takes me to the path that can answer my curiosity. Amatil X.

The company I work for launched an intrapreneurship program. Employees went through 6 classes of startup thinking. Those who have an idea that can benefit the company can register for the Hackaton event. During the Hackaton, I was grouped into a team of 5 people and we had to define the problems we’re trying to solve, the solution we offer (which was our idea), and the benefit for the company. My team was selected to continue to the second round. Thus we went through another classes of creating a product. This week, we finally got the chance to do a pitch in front of the directors and investors, where they selected the best two ideas to continue the journey.

I value the experience very much. All the discussion, the thinking process, the chance to pitch in front of important people, those aren’t something all people can get. I’m very grateful, I know this is good for me. The drawback for me is because the process had totally drained my energy – more than ever. It’s not easy to work on an idea, it’s even harder to convince people that the idea is worthy. I salute all founders of startups that try to solve problems in various aspects in life. That is one tough job. However, I do believe that if the person is highly passionate about what he’s about to solve, it won’t be as tiring as how it affected me (I guess this validates more of how I am not so passionate about supply chain). But the ship has sailed, I gotta finish what I’ve started and keep doing the best that I can.

The thing that I want to highlight here is actually how life can take us to many different routes before finally reaching the destination – to where we really belong, to our true calling. And the road isn’t always straight. We might end up in a strange place several times, there probably shortcuts, and we can definitely get lost or just circling around a few times. I guess I haven’t reached my destination, there’s a lot to figure out. It’s a adventure of a lifetime, Coldplay said, we are diamonds taking shape.

Love, Atiqah Zulfa Naida


Writer’s block

Menulis itu butuh inspirasi dan semangat. Setiap kali aku merasa ngga punya ide nulis, aku lumayan frustrasi. Karena ada 2 hal yang bisa jadi penyebab: hidupku berjalan terlalu monoton dan mediocre sehingga aku ngga ada hal menarik untuk dibagi atau sesimpel aku males aja untuk menata kata-kata. Keduanya sama-sama ngga baik.

To realize how little I have been writing lately, aku jadi sadar beberapa hal yang perlu aku renungkan. Pertama, whether I have done something meaningful, mungkin ngga perlu setiap detik, jam, dan harinya. Even one meaningful thing in a week should be enough. Harusnya dengan itu aku bisa punya sesuatu untuk diceritakan. Ngga harus grande dan wow, dengan baca buku, diskusi, update berita terkini, membuat atau mengerjakan sesuatu, dan macam-macam kegiatan lainnya – yang penting ada makna yang bisa diambil. This will be my first homework: kembali belajar memaknai, meresapi hal-hal yang terjadi dalam hidupku. Maybe this time around, I had let it pass me just like that.

Kedua, was I being lazy all this time? If so, then why? Was I lack of ambition? Semenjak lulus dan kerja kantoran, rasanya agak sulit menemukan ambisi yang men-drive diri supaya terus berkembang. Pertanyaan “what’s next?” jadi sulit dijawab. Disiplin jadi PR kedua, harus rutin melakukan kegiatan yang baik. Contohnya olahraga, ikut kelas online, dan nulis blog. To start is one challenge, but to be consistent is one level up.

Ketiga, penting untuk selalu ingat purpose kita dalam hidup. Makanya purpose ini baiknya tertuang dalam sebuah tulisan yang bisa sering dibaca. Ketika mengingat kembali tujuan kita, biasanya bakal kembali semangat melakukan hal-hal yang bisa membawa kita ke tujuan tersebut.

Well, big homework for me. Semoga bisa pelan-pelan meningkatkan frekuensi menulis lagi. Mudah-mudahan tulisan kali ini ngga hanya jadi mediaku untuk rant about experiencing such writer’s block, tapi juga memberi inspirasi atau perspektif baru untuk siapapun yang baca. Cheers!

♥️, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia